Usually, we hear about people prosecuted for illegally importing contact lenses from China to Europe or the United States. Interestingly, the same problem seems to exist in China itself as well.
Recently, three people have been arrested for selling contact lenses imported from South Korea without proper authorisation. Over a two-year period (July 2014 – July 2016), the men had sold contact lenses and lens care solutions worth more than $2 million. In addition, during a raid on their warehouses, the police seized about 1 million contact lenses and over 100,000 bottles of solution.
The brands that were sold are legally available in China and the products were genuine, but they were imported and sold illegally, the prosecutors claim. Because contact lenses are classified as medical equipment, a special licence is required to distribute them in the country.
The alleged ringleader, a man surnamed Zhuo, stated he had had signed a contract with a few medical equipment companies, using their licences to avoid the customs check. Subsequently, the lenses were sold over the Internet.